Illinois

Taxpayers vs. Status Quo in Illinois Primary

View as PDF Chicago – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) helped local activists defeat Home Rule in 2 more communities in yesterday’s Illinois primary election. TUA has helped taxpayers defeat a total of 211 Home Rule referenda since its founding 40 years ago. TUA also helped taxpayers of Roselle SD12 to try and defeat a $1.5 million property tax increase referenda but lost to supporters of the tax and spend status quo. Overall, TUA has helped taxpayers defeat a total of 419 tax increase referenda since TUA’s first began contesting referenda in 1977.
“Taxpayers were divided, like everything political these days, over whether they were ready to tell the government bureaucrats to keep their hands out of our pockets and to stop spending our tax dollars faster than they are collected,” stated Jared Labell, TUA director of operations. “Fortunately, a few communities fought back with the ballot box yesterday against unlimited taxing authority.”
Taxpayers in Westchester and Franklin Park resoundingly defeated Home Rule referenda with the assistance of TUA:
Village of Westchester, Home Rule
(13 of 13 precincts counted)
YES 1,350 25.01%
NO 4,047 74.99%
Total 5,397
Village of Franklin Park, Home Rule
(11 of 11 precincts counted)
YES 1,400 36.57%
NO 2,428 63.43%
Total 3,828
“Some taxpayers in Summit weren’t so savvy at the polls. They clearly didn’t get the message that Home Rule always means higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and more government in your business,” said Labell. “Home Rule narrowly passed in Summit by 136 votes.”
Village of Summit, Home Rule
(3 of 3 precincts counted)
YES 946 53.87%
NO 810 46.13%
Total 1,756
“Unfortunately, taxpayers in Roselle SD12 weren’t ready to tell government school bureaucrats that enough is enough and force them to rein in spending, as voters approved a $1.5 million dollar property tax increase. Apparently they haven’t gotten the message that 80% of local taxes fund government salaries and benefits, including ridiculously lucrative pensions. This is a much more insidious problem than the typical waste, fraud, and abuse that we know is rampant in government bureaucracies,” said Labell.
Roselle GS 12 PROP TAX
Total
Yes 1518, 56.37%
No 1175, 43.63%
“These substantial property tax hikes are not ‘for the children’ or the collective improvement of the community. It’s a shame that voters decided to force more tax dollars out of the productive private sector and award taxpayers’ hard-earned money to government thugs and cronies. These bureaucrats would prefer that your property tax payments put you out of your home before they would agree to compensation that is fair to them, the children, and the community they are supposed to serve,” concluded Labell.
Look for further analyses of the March 15 primary election results from TUA in the coming days.

IMRF – The Gold Standard in Taxpayer Abuse

View as PDF CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) today released the results of their updated analysis of Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
“The IMRF, although touted as the gold standard in government pension funds, is just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth to benefit the political elite as any Illinois State pension fund,” stated Jim Tobin, TUA president.
“The entire list of the top 200 IMRF annual pensions exceeds $116,000 with multi-million dollar lifetime payouts that are largely taxpayer funded. Although the IMRF is adequately funded, that doesn’t make it fair to taxpayers, especially considering that the total unfunded liabilities for Illinois government pensions is far in excess of $111 billion.”
“All of these top 200 ‘poor civil servants’ collected salaries of at least $100,000 with some as high as $400,000. Nearly all IMRF employees are also eligible for Social Security benefits in addition to their IMRF pensions,” added Tobin. “Let’s not forget that 80% of municipal taxes, including property taxes, go to pay government employee salaries, pensions, and benefits.”

  • Total number of IMRF pension beneficiaries is approximately 119,556.
  • 478 collect pensions in excess of $100,000.
  • 5,916 collect pensions in excess of $50,000.
  • The average 2014 annual IMRF pension is $17,268.
  • The average amount that employees paid into their own pension fund is $19,030, or 4.6% of their estimated lifetime pension payout.
  • The average estimated lifetime payout is $411,998*.
  • The average age at retirement is 62.
  • The average years of employment are 18.
  • In fiscal year 2014, taxpayers were forced to pay $923,382,825 into the government pension fund.
  • In fiscal year 2014, local and county government employees paid $351,089,445 into their own pension fund.
  • The net return on investment for IMRF in fiscal year 2014 was only 5.8%, or $2,001,440,028.
  • As of the end of fiscal year 2014, IMRF had an 87.3% funded ratio with a $4.8 billion unfunded liability.

“Taxpayers are forced to pay $2.63 for every $1 the multi-millionaire pensioners pay into their own IMRF pension fund annually, or 263%. I can’t think of a single private sector employer who does that. Social Security payments by the employer are an equal match to employee payments. You won’t see any gold-plated, multi-million dollar Social Security lifetime payouts. The maximum Social Security payout for 2016 is $31,668, and there are no cushy, automatic cost of living increases in Social Security benefits. And again, let’s not forget that nearly all of IMRF members also get Social Security payments in addition to the pension payments highlighted in our study.”
“Until all government employees are moved from the current defined-benefit pension system to 401(k) style retirement savings accounts, the system will remain unsustainable and unfair to taxpayers. But this type of positive, sweeping reform cannot occur without first amending the Illinois Constitution by removing the government employee pension protection clause. However, the Illinois General Assembly could immediately require that all new government employees be placed in a 401(k) style defined-contribution plan, which would eliminate additional unfunded government pension liabilities immediately.”
“Today’s taxpayers should not be required to pay for services rendered years ago, just as bureaucrats and politicians should not be allowed to balance today’s budgets on the backs of tomorrow’s taxpayers. Let’s make necessary reforms that will benefit all of Illinois economically and finally do something that actually is ‘for the children.’”
“To help the average taxpayer understand the problem, we list the names of the pensioners and the amounts they collect in retirement,” added Tobin. “It really hits home when people see the names of their local ‘civil servants,’ people in their community that they know at least by name, and the outrageous amount of taxpayer dollars they collect in retirement while doing absolutely nothing.”
“Edward A. Anderson, retired from CGH Medical-Sterling, tops our list with a mind-boggling $306,621 annual pension! The accumulation of those payments, over a normal lifetime, will reach about $6.2 million. His contribution to that gold-plated pension was only $312,570.”
“Roy F. McCampbell tops the list for estimated lifetime pension payouts. Retiring at only 56 from the Village of Bellwood, he could collect more than $6.8 million in taxpayer funded pension payments. His current annual pension is a very lucrative $263,809. He collects this wealth from taxpayers in a community where 12.8% of the population lives below the poverty level and the per capita income is only $20,395!”
“Albin D. Pagorski tops our list for the highest total IMRF pension collected to date at $3,083,099. His own payment into this extravagant government pension was a meagre $93,910 or 2% of his estimated lifetime pension payout.”

“Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, AKA: Boss Madigan, has had the Illinois taxpayers in his death grip for far too long. Every taxpayer needs to vote in the upcoming Illinois Primary on March 15, 2016 and vote out every incumbent who has played a role in taxpayer abuse, stripping wealth from us to put in the pockets of the government retirees. The constitutional protection of this redistribution of taxpayer wealth is criminal,” charged Tobin. “The only way to enact real reform is to oust the guilty parties who answer to union thugs, rather than the taxpayers they are elected to represent,” he concluded.
*Lifetime estimated pension payout includes 3% COLA (simple interest) and assumes life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590). Nearly all IMRF pensioners also receive Social Security benefits in addition to their IMRF pension. Any blank spaces in the data are intentional and due to government redactions or withheld data points in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Madison Record|Haine and Haida among top IMRF beneficiaries in state; Though adequately funded, critic says pension system 'just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth'

President and founder of Taxpayers United of America (TUA), Jim Tobin, was quoted by Madison Record about the latest IMRF Pension data release.


The top Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) beneficiaries in Madison and St. Clair counties are among the state’s highest paid. And both of them – a lawmaker and a judge – are accruing benefits in other pension systems that will provide even more tax payer-supported income for life when they retire a second time.
State Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), who served as Madison County State’s Attorney for 14 years (1988-2002), began receiving IMRF pension benefits one month after he was elected to the 56th Senate District in November 2002.
According to Taxpayers United of America (TUA) pension analysis, Haine currently receives $148,042 annually from IMRF. He began receiving pension payments on Dec. 1, 2002 at age 58. He retired after 26.5 years of credited service at the county, which included work as a public defender and county board member.
To date, Haine has received $1,714,021 in IMRF payments. He contributed $110,031 into the system. Based on a life expectancy of 85, Haine will receive an estimated $3,033,922 in lifetime benefits from the IMRF.
His current salary as state senator is $67,836, plus he receives $111 per diem while in session. His total tax-payer supported annual income is approximately $228,804.
When he is no longer a state legislator, Haine will be eligible for benefits from another state pension system – the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS).
In St. Clair County, Circuit Judge Robert Haida, who served as St. Clair County State’s Attorney for 19 years (1991-2010), began receiving IMRF pension benefits in 2012, two years after he was elected to the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.
Haida currently receives $154,084 annually in IMRF benefits. He was 55 when he retired as state’s attorney; he is credited with having worked 24.6 years as a county employee, which also included time as an assistant state’s attorney.
To date, Haida has received $520,442 in IMRF payments. He contributed $209,176 into the system, and will have received an estimated $4,283,142 at age 85.
As a circuit judge he is paid $178,835, bringing his total tax-payer supported annual income to $332,919.
When he is no longer a judge, Haida will be eligible for benefits from another state pension system – the Judicial Retirement System (JRS).
The state senator and circuit judge – both of whom seek to keep their seats in the November general election – were named to the TUA’s list of top 200 IMRF beneficiaries, Haida in 40th place and Haine in 50th.
“The IMRF, although touted as the gold standard in government pension funds, is just as efficient at stealing taxpayer wealth to benefit the political elite as any Illinois state pension fund,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president, in a press release.
“The entire list of the top 200 IMRF annual pensions exceeds $116,000 with multi-million dollar lifetime payouts that are largely taxpayer funded. Although the IMRF is adequately funded, that doesn’t make it fair to taxpayers, especially considering that the total unfunded liabilities for Illinois government pensions is far in excess of $111 billion.”
The TUA reported these statistics regarding the IMRF:
• Total number of pension beneficiaries is approximately 119,556
• 478 collect pensions in excess of $100,000
• 5,916 collect pensions in excess of $50,000
• The average 2014 annual pension is $17,268
• The average amount that employees paid into their own pension fund is $19,030, or 4.6 percent of their estimated lifetime pension payout
• The average estimated lifetime payout is $411,998, based on a life expectancy of 85 and an annual 3 percent cost of living adjustment
• The average age at retirement is 62
• The average years of employment are 18
• In fiscal year 2014, taxpayers were forced to pay $923,382,825 into the government pension fund
• In fiscal year 2014, local and county government employees paid $351,089,445 into their own pension fund
• The net return on investment for IMRF in fiscal year 2014 was only 5.8 percent, or $2,001,440,028
• As of the end of fiscal year 2014, IMRF had an 87.3 percent funded ratio with a $4.8 billion unfunded liability
Tobin and other pension reform advocates support changing public pension systems from the current defined-benefit system to 401(k) style retirement savings accounts.
“But this type of positive, sweeping reform cannot occur without first amending the Illinois Constitution by removing the government employee pension protection clause,” Tobin stated. “However, the Illinois General Assembly could immediately require that all new government employees be placed in a 401(k) style defined-contribution plan, which would eliminate additional unfunded government pension liabilities immediately.”
He said that taxpayers are forced to pay $2.63 for every $1 that pensioners pay into their own IMRF fund annually, or 263 percent.
“I can’t think of a single private sector employer who does that,” he stated. “Social Security payments by the employer are an equal match to employee payments.
“Today’s taxpayers should not be required to pay for services rendered years ago, just as bureaucrats and politicians should not be allowed to balance today’s budgets on the backs of tomorrow’s taxpayers. Let’s make necessary reforms that will benefit all of Illinois economically and finally do something that actually is ‘for the children.’”
A pension reform bill passed by the state legislature in 2013 was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court last year when it sided with public unions in ruling that the state was obligated to protect public worker pensions.
And ever since Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner was elected in 2014 on a reform platform, Democrat lawmakers, who control both branches of state government, have resisted his proposals to transform the state’s under-funded pension systems.
Legislation introduced by Republicans this session would give retired government workers a choice in collecting benefits over several years, or cash out immediately but with a smaller lump sum.
Two bills on the subject were discussed during a testimony-only committee hearing last week – House Bill 4427 sponsored by State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) and House Bill 5625 sponsored by State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago).
As reported by Illinois News Network last week, under one scenario in Batinick’s plan, it would take the state a $700,000 up-front investment to fund the pension of an employee projected to draw $50,000 annually.
The legislation would offer workers essentially three options: Accept the $50,000 annual pension; take an immediate payout at about 75 percent of $700,000; or take an immediate, partial amount and still get an annual pension payment — although smaller than $50,000, according to the report.
Chairperson of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) said the state should not force workers into reduced, lump sum payouts.
That decision, Nekritz said, “would have to be completely voluntary and only at the whim and desire of the participants,” the Illinois News Network report stated.

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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